In a year filled with new console releases, Microsoft’s announcement today may be the biggest gaming news of the year. The company has signed a deal to buy ZeniMax Media, one of the largest independent games publishers out there. They are behind some of the biggest franchises in gaming history. That includes id Software (Doom, Quake), Arkane Studios (Dishonored, Prey), Tango Gameworks (The Evil Within) and Bethesda Game Studios (The Elder Scrolls, Fallout). Those are some heavy hitters.
Microsoft is paying $7.5 billion, and the deal is expected to complete in the second half of 2021, when they get regulatory approval. The company was valued in 2016 for around $2.5 billion.
Xbox head Phil Spencer said that the relationship between Microsoft and ZeniMax’s studios has always been cordial. It makes sense since id Software was behind the original Wolfenstein and Doom, which were huge on the PC. Spencer added that the deal will see several Bethesda titles added to Xbox Game Pass for console and PC players soon.
This also means that Microsoft will soon own the publisher behind some PlayStation exclusive titles. Tango Gameworks’ Ghostwire: Tokyo and Arkane’s Deathloop are both headed for the PS5 with no one knowing if they’ll ever make it to the Xbox. They might now.